Training the next generation of stink bug hunters

18 October 2018

This week KVH helped bring biosecurity alive for groups of intermediate students taking part in the Creepy Crawlies Meets Primary Production project.

For two field-days, students were introduced to kiwifruit and avocados as great industries and future career options and were shown science and technology at work. Grading and packing, checking out pests under microscopes, and learning about drone spraying taught students what it takes to produce and sell an export crop. These activities were built on Curious Minds modules developed by Scion and the Tauranga branch of House of Science.

The KVH team headed into the orchard to train and recruit teams of students responsible for hunting down stink bugs, and to talk about how important it is we have a team of 4.7 million to defend our industry against biosecurity risks. Students searched for life-sized stickers of native brown and green stink bugs in the orchard and learnt to catch, snap and report the “big bad” Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) and Yellow Spotted Stink Bug (YSSB). Aleise Puketapu from Plant and Food Research joined the team and thrilled the students with live green vegetable bug adults and nymphs and some very stinky dead bugs. Check the KVH Facebook page for a live photo reaction to the smell.

The event was organised by Scion and House of Science and was funded by the Unlocking Curious Minds programme with co-funding from BioHeritage, NZ Avocados and in-kind support from Trevelyans, KVH and Heli Resources.